Kian had a history of bad luck with alphas. Because when you’re an omega, with the palest shade of blond hair and eyes an odd shade of frosted blue, alphas were nothing but trouble. Most alphas wanted to use him for his looks or for what he could do, but no good had ever come from any interaction Kian had ever had with one of them. Kian had certain other abilities that made him even more special and more attractive to alphas.
It was this special ability that brought him to the attention of the Dark Hollow Wolves. And they had a new alpha. He was downright gorgeous, stern, and old-fashioned. But one thing he said he’d never do was mate an omega. As their love struggles to take root, Kian must learn to trust in Jim and they have to stand together against the sinister outside forces that sent Kian to the pack in the first place and that threaten to drive a wedge between another one of the alphas and his mate to tear both them and the pack apart.
Kian sat in the back seat of the SUV next to the big alpha, the one Kian knew was his fated mate. He’d said his name was Jim. Such a simple, yet powerful name. He repeated it over and over to himself, like a mantra.
He had climbed in beside Kian and sat so close to him that his scent was almost overwhelming in the confines of the back seat. For the longest time Jim had stared straight ahead and was almost broodingly quiet. Kian was hyper-aware of his every move, so he knew the exact moment when Jim discovered that Kian had been using the influence on him.
Not quite a half-hour into the journey, Jim had glanced out the window beside him. They were traveling along one of the twisty mountain roads that led into North Carolina and the woods and roadway outside the truck were dark and empty. Yet when he gazed out the window, Jim did a double take and whirled back to look at Kian. He shook his head, looked back at the glass again, knuckled his eyes and went back to staring at the reflection in the glass. He’d been doing it ever since, for almost five minutes now.
Kian knew what he saw. The interior of the truck was dim, but Kian sat in the middle, because his suitcase was on the seat next to him, and his features were partially lit by the green glow of the dash and reflected in the dark windows. His image would always reflect his true nature, so Jim had seen him for how he really was. Kian glanced over at him nervously, knowing what he was seeing in the glass.
Most of the members of the packs Kian had seen were large and dark-haired. There were exceptions, of course, like Jim, sitting beside him with his bronze-colored mane and amber eyes. But these were mostly in wolves whose families had migrated from France or other parts of Europe. Those wolves of North American heritage looked more like the big wolf who had swatted Lucas—the one called Marco. Dark hair, skin and eyes, with rugged good looks and a tall, muscular build. Many of them could trace their ancestors to the Creek and Cherokee Indian tribes of the eastern United States. His own father had been much the same.
But Kian was the spitting image of his mother. He was more masculine, of course, though still not nearly as large and well-built as his father had been. His face was not as delicate as hers, and he had the wildness in his eyes that marked him undeniably as a wolf and as his father’s son. But his hair was the palest shade of blonde and his skin was flawless and white. His pupils were an odd shade of blue-silver so pallid they almost appeared to be frosted, but they were framed with sooty black eyelashes. A striking, unusual combination—one that Kian hated. His looks had never brought him anything but misery.
At puberty, he had shifted into his wolf, though he hadn’t enjoyed the experience and didn’t like to repeat it, often staying inside during the nights of the full moon. His wolf was white, with clear blue eyes, much like his own eyes in human form. He was still every bit as beautiful as his omega mother had been, or so he’d been told all his life, and even perhaps more so, since he wasn’t as ethereal looking. But it was nothing to be conceited over or even to celebrate. The way he looked had brought him nothing but trouble. He was grateful that he had the ability to influence others, like his mother, though her powers were stronger by far and she could sustain it longer. She had been a far more powerful omega than Kian.
His handsome mate spoke up from beside him without turning his head. His voice sounded low and shocked. “How are you doing that?”
“Answer me, damn it. Is it the influence?” His mate asked, still staring at the glass. Sometimes, I catch a glimpse of you from the corner of my eye and…” He turned then and glared down at Kian. “Why are you playing tricks? Tell me, by God, or I’ll…”
“Is everything okay back there?” Nicky, the blond one asked, leaning over the seat and sounding alarmed at Jim’s raised voice.
“No,” Jim replied in a completely different tone than when he’d first introduced himself. “No, it isn’t. Marco,” he said. “I think you’d better stop.”
“I won’t take advantage of you, Kian.”
“Who said I’d let you?”
Jim looked surprised and took a step closer. “Are you influencing me now?”
Kian shook his head. “No. I don’t think it works so well with mates. Maybe that’s why you could see me so easily in the loft. You knew I was there, but the others didn’t. It’s been really hard to sustain it around you from the first moment I saw you. I think you’ll always be able to see me now and be resistant to my…powers.” He laughed to show he was joking, but Jim regarded him solemnly.
Yet the look in Jim’s eyes was tender. He raised his hand and trailed the back of it down Kian’s jaw, just lightly skimming over his skin. “I promised myself I wouldn’t do this—it’s not ethical or-or principled for an alpha to take advantage of an omega.” Making an impatient sound, Kian shook his head. “It’s only my wolf that’s omega, and to tell you the truth, he’s pretty dormant most of the time. Is it really that you feel like you’re taking advantage of me? You think I can’t protect myself?”
Jim looked at him and shook his head. “The longer I’m around you, the more I think I you can do anything you want. I think–I think I might be the one in danger.”
Kian’s breath caught in his throat and Jim softly laughed. It had a breathless sound to it, and he leaned closer rubbing his smoothly shaven cheek against Kian’s. He turned his head so that his lips were only an inch away. Kian closed the distance between them, parting his lips with a sigh. He didn’t stop to think about what the hell he was doing, or how angry Dante would be that he did this. He simply gave himself up to it, getting lost in the kiss.
It was a long, devastating one. Jim swept his tongue over the inside of Kian’s mouth, again and again. It was so unbearably sweet that Kian thought he couldn’t stand much more of it without tearing off his clothes and pressing his bare body to Jim’s, begging him to take him and give him relief. Jim tasted like coffee and sweetness. A hot trail of lightning flashed over Kian’s skin on its way to his groin and his cock grew erect and straining. Little goosebumps rose up all over his skin and the hairs on his body stood up, crackling in a storm of static electricity. At least Kian thought it was static electricity. Whatever it was, he wanted more of it, and he threw his arms around Jim’s neck and pressed against him.
This close, Jim’s scent was overwhelming, a clean male scent mixed with that sweet smell of his that Kian had noticed the first time he’d come close to him. It was intoxicating, and Kian raised his head and made the mistake of gazing directly into Jim’s golden brown eyes. The effect was so immediate and so dizzying, he put out a hand to steady himself, touching Jim’s chest. Jim sucked in a sharp breath through his teeth, and then he was kissing Kian again, bending him back over his arm. Ravishing him—what a sweetly old-fashioned word and so oddly revealing of what was happening to him. He was spellbound, enthralled and completely carried away with what Jim was doing. Every nerve ending in his body was firing at once, sparking and dancing with electricity. The raw heat of that kiss made Kian’s mouth fall open in surprised welcome, and Jim’s tongue swept inside again. He touched his tongue to Jim’s this time and heard himself moaning deep in his throat. Jim gave a surprised little grunt of pleasure as he pulled Kian’s body into his lap. His mouth moved against Kian’s, and Kian could just make out the strange half-growl against his skin.
“This is such a bad idea.” Jim gasped, clutching Kian closer, his mouth skimming over his throat, and the sharp prick of teeth grazing across Kian’s skin. He was panting for breath, as if he’d been running long and hard under the full moon. His eyes were wild with passion. “But I want you so much.”
“Is it a bad idea?” Kian replied dreamily, his eyes still tightly shut, his breathing way too fast. “I hadn’t noticed.”
Jim palmed Kian’s cock, which was straining against Jim’s thigh, eager for his touch. He dipped his hand inside the waistband of his underwear and stroked it, while it twitched and jumped in his hand. Jim welcomed it in long, gentle strokes as Kian strained to get even closer to him. Kian glanced down at himself and swore he saw diamond-like sparks swirling around Jim’s hand where he stroked him, but then maybe it was because he was so close to passing out from the pleasure. He’d never felt anything like this before. The sparks burned Kian with little stings and teased him with tiny pinpricks of sensation. Unable to help himself, he closed his eyes and thrust his hips again and again into Jim’s hard hand, pushing his cock into that sure touch.
Jim gave a funny little half laugh and laid him down on the bed. Stars exploded behind Kian’s eyes and swirled outward into the room and up to the ceiling. As Jim bent over him, Kian saw the glint of his sharp incisors. He felt his own descending too and touched his tongue to them. Stars were still pelting down on Kian’s head, their brilliant bodies disintegrating as they touched his skin as Jim ran his hands over his body, bringing incredible heat to his skin. He looked up into those dark eyes glowing with fire. Why was it that he had always avoided alphas? It didn’t seem sensible and he couldn’t quite remember what the reason could have been at the moment.